Thushita Ranasinghe today is a proud owner of Eco Maximus that exports paper to 30 countries across the globe. What’s unique about this is that all the paper that Thushita sells is made of elephant poop!
Why Make Paper from Elephant Poop?
Every year 15 billion trees get cut. 40% of these trees are used for making paper. Deforestation is a serious environmental issue that we are facing today. If paper can be made from recycled sources such as elephant poop, it can save a huge number of trees from being cut.
What Makes Elephant Poop Suitable for Paper Making?
An adult elephant can eat over 300 pounds of food daily, which comprise of vegetables, twigs, grass, tree bark, all of which is full of fibers. An elephant defecates 16 times a day, which is equivalent to 200 pounds of poop. Just 12 animals can produce 1 ton of poop daily, which can be used as paper pulp.
Incidentally, traditional paper is also made from trees, which is again nothing but fiber.
How is Paper Made from Elephant Poop?
Thushita Ranasinghe started paper business with just 7 employees. They collected elephant poop from elephant orphanage. The poop is then boiled at 200°C for one hour to eliminate germs. The boiled dung is then sun-dried. One-third of boiled elephant poop is mixed with two-thirds of offcut (leftover papers collected from Colombo and even leftover papers made from elephant poop). These are then processed to make paper. Finally, the raw paper is ironed out to make stationery.
Paper from Elephant Poop is a Win-Win for All
Thushita Ranasinghe’s Eco Maximus has around 80 employees, most of them women. These women who had no work, are gainfully employed today. Since elephants are also gainfully employed in orphanage because of their poop, it gives them a breather of life, which may otherwise be put to rest. Last but not the least, paper from elephant poop is environment friendly. An important thing to note…Elephant poop when dried does not smell at all. So, next time when you go to buy stationery, you may ask for paper made from elephant poop!